Monday, March 28, 2011

LOVE or SEX...The "Talk"

We here at LJL were just kids when Mary J. Blige burst onto the scene, belting out this now classic song about a young woman in search of LOVE well, REAL LOVE that is...Now, we're old enough to BE parents/co-parents, aunties, "big" cousins, and godmothers. Now, we are in the driver's seat when it comes to defining and framing LOVE for the next generation. WE are now responsible for setting the tone on what is and is not acceptable, for separating truths from locker room fictions, and for guidance on how to digest all the emotions that come with those biological, hormonal, social and emotional changes that the young men and women in our lives will soon undergo.

How is it that time has passed us so swiftly?

Who said that just because we're OLDER that we're any wiser?

Do we have what it takes to set a youngster on the right path?

Recently a close friend called with dread in his voice. He was sorry to announce that it was time for THE TALK with his thirteen year old son. Having done sex ed programming for teen girls in an area with a high teen pregnancy rate as a Girl Scout, as an RA in college, and as a mother to two preteen boys, I had "the talk" down pat. I also knew that there wasn't just one "talk".

The "talk" was and is actually a conversation; a never-ending one at that.

The phone call, coupled with a realization I had a few days earlier inspired this post. I reminisced back on my school days, when I asked my parents straight out, when could I have a boyfriend. My mother, ever the practical parent simply replied, "When you can balance your school work and your social life" Well, I had been going to school and playing outside pretty well since elementary school.In middle school, my grades were always good, and I was never in trouble.

Translation:I can have a boyfriend NOW!!!

However, thinking back on things, I wonder...What if my parents said, "sweetie, we love you and think you are an awesome, intelligent, pretty, manner-able, caring, thoughtful and right minded young lady." "When you find a young man who deserves to share in all that you are, then you can have a boyfriend. Look for the man who is worthy of your wonderfulness"

Imagining how my life and choices in men would have differed with this nugget of information, it was the same advice I offered my friend in his moment of dread. Give him the concrete details, be medically accurate, but in the end, tell him to seek out a young lady who truly is WORTHY of all he is. We live in a world that is not conducive to sexual freedom, "sowing wild oats", and even simple exploration.

Our society, by nature of being hyper-sexualized, has made sex an activity that requires medical screenings, multiple forms of birth control, and oftentimes litigation. It's intimacy is far removed from the two individual participants, therefore, the sex education of today must advocate for truth, honesty, respect, and self worth. It is the only way to stem the tide of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and broken social relations.

So, when it comes to the question of "Love or Sex" I say HEALTHY Self Love then Sex. In the LoveJonesLifestyle, sex grounded in a healthy sense of self is the way we do it. What about you?


  1. First LJL, I want to thank you. This post (and many others) have inspired many creative critical thoughts.

    I certainly can imagine how different my choices in mates might have been if my mother replied when I inquired about dating "find someone WORTHY of you". Instead there was no inquiry, no talk, no discussion, rather silent observations...which definitely included the linear world of mainstream television and hollywood. I now see a pattern I did not see before...the familial influences and patterns schooling a young impressionable adolescent mind while media fills in the gaps. Got me thinkin' LJL, got me thinkin'

  2. This is so necessary. My mother never talked to me about love or sex, and I know what a tremendous difference it would have made in my life. Thankfully, those experiences have taught me the things that need to be said to my mentees and future children.

  3. Kim, how wonderful that you've decided to use the experiences to create positive action for the future. My goal is to change the way communities and individuals look at love, connections and relations, so that we are ALL healthier. Keep moving forward with your mentees and your (future) little ones!

  4. B.Marie...Thank you for your comment. The failure that you write about, the NOT TALKING, is one of the key ways that we pass on damaging/risky/dangerous behavior cross generationally and throughout families. If we ever want healing and healthy relationships, we've got to counter the media messages and send healthy ones. Glad you're thinking and that we are a part of your thought process!

  5. This is something that I think about often. For a long time, I thought my mother didn't have "the talk" with me because she was older than most of my peers' mothers. I later found out that many other parents did not deliver "the talk" either. I believe that any message, even if it's short and to the point, is better than no message at all. I strongly believe that "the talk" with my mom would have impacted the decisions I made.
    As a mother of two daughters, I also believe "the talk" is an ongoing conversation. I take every opportunity presented to me to discuss relationships and sex - during movies, chats about what's going on at school, and TV time (especially ABC Family!). We talk about the decisions people make, possible outcomes, what would have probably been the best decision, etc. Sometimes, it can get uncomfortable for me when my girls come to me with questions, thoughts, or the latest drama at school. I think, "I would never talk to my mom about this." I quickly shake it off and have those candid conversations that need to take place.
    Also, you canNOT stress too much how valuable your child is. My girls have grown up hearing how intelligent, talented, and beautiful they are. Your intelligence, attitude, and integrity are much more important than your outer beauty. I have tried very hard to instill the value of hard work into my girls. They know they have to work for anything they want. However, I also make sure that my girls are accustomed to nice things, such as nice clothes, pampering, and travelling. Not so that they will be vain, but so that no boy/ man can come to them and offer them anything that would make them compromise what has been instilled in them. Boys can't come to them and tell them anything that they haven't heard before. Men won't be able to offer them anything that they cannot work for and do for themselves. Unfortunately, too many women are swept off of their feet into bad relationships based on sweet words or promises of the finer things in life.
    Luckily, I currently have a 15-year old that most of her peers think is weird because she is more interested in her extra-curricular activities than having a boyfriend. And a soon-to-be 12-year old who quickly points out that the other 6th graders should not be dating or even have boyfriends and that Miley Cyrus has lost her mind and needs to realize she is a role model to some little girls and should not dress and behave the way she does. But this is just the beginning of our journey, so wish me luck...


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